In keeping with Firdosh Sheikh, the co-founder and CEO of DRIFE, blockchain-based ride-hailing platforms might disrupt and revolutionize the business, very like Uber and Lyft did to the normal taxi business over the previous decade. To assist this argument, Sheikh, whose ride-hailing platform is already taking over Uber in markets like India, pointed to how the blockchain’s key attributes are already making a distinction.
Blockchain-Based mostly Platforms Can Foster an Equitable Ecosystem
For example, Sheikh highlighted how the immutability of transactions on the blockchain doubtlessly helps to revive belief between drivers and riders. Sheikh argued that when these events belief one another, the disputes over fares, routes, and driver scores are minimized and this in flip “fosters a extra dependable and equitable ecosystem.”
As well as, the CEO additionally argued in her written solutions despatched to Bitcoin.com Information that ride-hailing platforms constructed on the blockchain have the potential to reinforce riders’ safety and privateness “by encrypting delicate person knowledge and enabling pseudonymous transactions.” By defending riders’ knowledge from hackers and different cybercriminals, these blockchain-based platforms assist to revive confidence within the ride-hailing business.
In the meantime, Sheikh asserts that, in contrast to centralized ride-hailing platforms like Uber, blockchain-based taxi platforms akin to DRIFE have a greater likelihood of constantly turning a revenue. She highlighted the opportunity of stakeholder involvement or inclusion in ride-hailing platforms’ governance buildings. Involving each riders and drivers within the decision-making course of “can guarantee inclusivity, equity, and long-term sustainability.”
As well as, by giving stakeholders a voice, the ride-hailing platforms can doubtlessly “reply successfully to altering market dynamics and regulatory necessities.” In her written solutions despatched through Telegram, Sheikh additionally touched on how ride-hailing platforms can overcome a number of the frequent challenges confronted by drivers.
Under are Sheikh‘s solutions to all of the questions despatched.
Bitcoin.com Information (BCN): Since Uber’s groundbreaking launch of its ride-hailing app, the taxi business has skilled a seismic shift. The affect has been profound, with many extra ride-hailing platforms coming into the scene. From a person’s perspective, these alternate options promise decrease charges and improved service high quality. Nevertheless, many individuals together with you see the blockchain as one other disruptive expertise that would reshape the whole ride-hailing panorama. Now, are you able to briefly clarify why you consider the blockchain and Web3 will drive innovation on this business?
Firdosh Sheikh (FS): The blockchain and Web3 expertise maintain immense potential to revolutionize the ride-hailing business. In contrast to conventional centralized platforms, blockchain-based options provide transparency, safety, and decentralization, which may deal with a number of longstanding points within the sector.
Firstly, blockchain expertise can improve transparency by offering an immutable ledger of transactions, making certain accountability and belief between drivers and riders. This transparency can mitigate disputes over fares, routes, and driver scores, fostering a extra dependable and equitable ecosystem.
Secondly, decentralized platforms powered by Web3 expertise can eradicate intermediaries, akin to centralized authorities or firms, thereby decreasing charges and empowering each drivers and riders. By enabling direct peer-to-peer transactions, blockchain-based ride-hailing platforms can provide decrease fares for riders whereas making certain increased earnings for drivers.
Furthermore, Web3 expertise facilitates the creation of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), permitting stakeholders to take part within the governance and decision-making processes of the platform. This democratic method ensures that the pursuits of all contributors are thought of, resulting in fairer insurance policies and improved service high quality.
Moreover, blockchain-based options can improve safety and privateness by encrypting delicate person knowledge and enabling pseudonymous transactions. This protects customers’ private data from unauthorized entry and knowledge breaches, thereby enhancing belief and confidence within the platform.
General, the mix of blockchain and Web3 expertise has the potential to drive innovation within the ride-hailing business by selling transparency, decentralization, equity, and safety. As these applied sciences proceed to evolve, they may possible reshape the whole panorama, providing customers and drivers a extra environment friendly, equitable, and sustainable mobility answer.
BCN: Do you see the blockchain equally disrupting the ride-hailing enterprise as Uber did just a few years in the past?
FS: Sure, the blockchain has the potential to disrupt the ride-hailing enterprise equally to how Uber did just a few years in the past, albeit in numerous methods. Whereas Uber revolutionized the business by introducing a user-friendly app and a gig economic system mannequin, blockchain expertise guarantees to disrupt the sector by addressing underlying points akin to transparency, decentralization, and belief.
Uber’s disruption was primarily pushed by its revolutionary enterprise mannequin, which streamlined the method of discovering and reserving rides, providing higher comfort and affordability for customers. Nevertheless, Uber’s centralized construction additionally confronted criticism for its management over pricing, knowledge, and driver compensation.
In distinction, blockchain-based ride-hailing platforms purpose to decentralize management, providing clear and trustless methods the place transactions are recorded on an immutable ledger. This transparency can mitigate points akin to worth manipulation, unfair therapy of drivers, and knowledge privateness considerations, resulting in a extra equitable and user-centric ecosystem.
General, whereas Uber’s disruption targeted on enhancing person expertise and effectivity, blockchain expertise has the potential to disrupt the ride-hailing enterprise by essentially reworking its underlying infrastructure, governance, and economics. As blockchain-based options proceed to evolve, they could reshape the business in methods which might be each revolutionary
BCN: Are you able to inform our readers about your journey of constructing and ultimately launching a decentralized ride-hailing platform?
FS: DRIFE began and continues to be a private journey. It began throughout an UBER experience to an airport in India. I’ve at all times been a person of taxis as my technique of transportation beginning early on once I moved to Delhi for my research, after which afterwards in Bangalore whereas I used to be working as a monetary analyst. But one midnight drive to an airport modified the whole lot.
It was on that night that the UBER driver had requested me to cancel the journey telling me he would take me at a a lot cheaper price. Asking him why, I found that UBER was taking 35% fee leaving him with a revenue of lower than 50% after price.
After that drive, I started talking to all of the drivers I’d use for rides. The identical story emerged, excessive commissions, no medical insurance, and a sense that they have been caught in a vicious circle and nonetheless struggling.
I spoke to 1,000 drivers, and at the back of my thoughts, I remembered how my father had began his profession as a taxi driver, and the way as a younger woman I’d wait patiently for his return whereas he labored exhausting to earn cash for his household.
It was then I made a decision that I wished to vary this. I had examine how bitcoin had provided freedom to the monetary sector and realized blockchain might do the identical for the mobility sector.
I name it Taxi 3.0 for brief. In my expertise, Taxi 1.0 was the place individuals would ebook an unmetered taxi and agree the fare with the driving force. Taxi 2.0 was the place huge tech acquired concerned and the whole lot moved to the platform. It was actually a technical disruption and folks might ebook and discover a taxi with a few faucets on their cellphones.
DRIFE is Taxi 3.0. It’s disrupting the disruptors of Taxi 1.0, the Taxi 2.0. Whereas Taxi 2.0 was a win due to expertise, it will definitely grew to become a loss for the driving force. In Taxi 3.0, the neighborhood, the market, and the driving force are in management not anybody else. The market units the costs; there aren’t any commissions and solely a subscription price to make use of the platform in order that with each experience, the cash belongs to them. This direct connection permits for extra personalised and customised ride-hailing experiences, the place riders can select drivers based mostly on particular standards, akin to driver score, automotive kind, and different preferences.
Our journey of constructing and ultimately launching a decentralized ride-hailing platform started with a daring imaginative and prescient to revolutionize the transportation business. It began with the launch of DRIFE in Bangalore, India, throughout our pilot part. With simply 25 drivers onboard initially, we launched into a mission to rework the best way individuals commute in city areas.
Since our humble beginnings, DRIFE has skilled exponential development, with our platform now boasting over 30,000 drivers and serving a thriving neighborhood of 300,000 riders in Bangalore alone. Our journey from a small-scale pilot to a number one participant within the ride-hailing sector is a testomony to the dedication, perseverance, and innovation of our group.
As we proceed to broaden our presence and affect, our dedication to offering a clear, honest, and user-centric ride-hailing expertise stays unwavering. We’re pleased with how far we’ve come and excited in regards to the future potentialities as we attempt to make transportation extra accessible, environment friendly, and sustainable for all.
BCN: Uber’s wrestle or lack of ability to constantly generate a revenue has raised questions in regards to the sustainability or profitability of ride-hailing apps usually. How does the usage of the blockchain assist make ride-hailing companies like DRIFE worthwhile or sustainable undertakings?
FS: Using blockchain expertise in ride-hailing companies like DRIFE can contribute to their profitability and sustainability in a number of methods:
1. Decreased Operational Prices: Blockchain permits decentralized, peer-to-peer transactions with out the necessity for intermediaries, which may considerably scale back operational prices related to conventional fee processing and administrative overhead. By eliminating third-party charges and streamlining processes, ride-hailing platforms can function extra effectively and obtain increased revenue margins.
2. Clear Pricing: Blockchain-based ride-hailing platforms provide clear and immutable transaction data, offering customers with visibility into pricing mechanisms and fare buildings. This transparency builds belief amongst riders and drivers, encouraging higher participation and loyalty. Moreover, by eliminating hidden charges and worth fluctuations, blockchain platforms can appeal to extra customers and improve total income.
3. Truthful Compensation for Drivers: One of many key challenges confronted by conventional ride-hailing corporations like Uber is making certain honest compensation for drivers whereas sustaining aggressive fares for riders. Blockchain expertise permits the implementation of dynamic pricing fashions, akin to auction-based or token-based methods, the place drivers have extra management over their earnings. By permitting drivers to set their very own charges or take part in incentive packages, blockchain platforms can appeal to and retain expert drivers, main to raised service high quality and buyer satisfaction.
4. Tokenization and Incentive Mechanisms: Blockchain-based ride-hailing platforms can leverage tokenization and incentive mechanisms to reward customers for lively participation and engagement. By issuing utility tokens that may be earned via referrals, loyalty packages, or different actions, platforms like Drife can incentivize each riders and drivers to contribute to the ecosystem. These tokens can then be used for discounted rides, premium providers, and even as a type of fee throughout the platform, driving person adoption and rising income alternatives.
5. Decentralized Governance and Sustainability: Blockchain expertise permits for decentralized governance buildings the place stakeholders have a voice in decision-making processes. By involving drivers, riders, and different neighborhood members in platform governance, blockchain-based ride-hailing platforms can guarantee inclusivity, equity, and long-term sustainability. Decentralized governance additionally fosters innovation and flexibility, enabling platforms to reply successfully to altering market dynamics and regulatory necessities.
General, the usage of blockchain expertise in ride-hailing companies presents a spread of advantages that may contribute to their profitability and sustainability. By decreasing prices, rising transparency, empowering stakeholders, and fostering innovation, blockchain-based platforms like Drife have the potential to reshape the business and create worth for all contributors.
BCN: Many drivers have highlighted many issues they expertise with totally different ride-hailing apps however maybe the commonest or essential ones are extreme commissions charged by ride-hailing platforms and delayed funds. How does your platform strike a steadiness between the wants of drivers and the corporate particularly since your ride-hailing app costs a near-zero fee?
FS: At our ride-hailing platform, we prioritize the wants of each drivers and the corporate by implementing a enterprise mannequin that fosters equity, transparency, and mutual profit. We acknowledge that extreme commissions and delayed funds are vital ache factors for drivers within the ride-hailing business, and we’ve taken proactive steps to handle these points.
Firstly, our platform operates on a near-zero fee price construction, which implies that almost all of the fare paid by riders goes on to the drivers. By minimizing or eliminating commissions, we be certain that drivers can earn a good and sustainable revenue for his or her providers. This method not solely incentivizes drivers to affix our platform but in addition encourages them to supply high-quality service to riders.
At DRIFE, we prioritize the monetary well-being and autonomy of our drivers by providing revolutionary fee options and clear price buildings. One of many key options of our platform is the in-app driver pockets, which supplies drivers with unprecedented management over their earnings. In contrast to conventional ride-hailing platforms which will take 48 hours to 7 days to course of funds and settle accounts, our drivers can withdraw their earnings instantly after finishing a experience. Which means that drivers will not be depending on us to facilitate funds or settlements, empowering them to entry their funds each time they want them.
Moreover, we function on a subscription mannequin, whereby drivers pay a subscription price to achieve entry to our platform. This price covers the price of using our expertise and providers, permitting drivers to leverage our platform to attach with riders and earn revenue. By working on a subscription mannequin, we be certain that our drivers have a transparent understanding of the prices related to utilizing our platform, with out the uncertainty of fluctuating commissions or hidden charges. This clear price construction underscores our dedication to equity and driver empowerment, enabling drivers to maximise their earnings and obtain monetary stability.
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